A gallery of five birds to look forward to in spring

As spring officially sets in and warmer weather greets us, a slew of birds will be migrating back home to Ireland for the summer. Make sure to be on the lookout for these beautiful birds all around the country.

  • chiff

    The chiff chaff is a common bird that will begin migrating back to Ireland starting in April. Mainly a dull green on top with a white underbelly, they are common all around the island but seen frequently along the south coast and in woodlands. Keep your ears open for the chiff chaff as they are very vocal birds chirping continuously throughout the day.

  • swiff

    Swifts begin to appear on the island starting in May. These birds look like swallows but are pitch black and have a very distinctive scythe shape while in flight. One of the fastest birds in Ireland swifts rarely spend time on the ground as they have very weak feet and cannot cling onto most surfaces like tree branches. Swifts are spotted mainly in urban areas.

  • swallow 2

    Easily spotted due to its black coating and red and white underbelly, the swallow is a common sight all throughout Ireland. Some have already been spotted in Galway and Wicklow. They tend to build their nests in barns and other buildings. Currently, the European swallow population is amber-listed, but the local Irish population has been steady.

  • cuckoo

    The cuckoo arrives in April and is common all around Ireland, though many breeding pairs reside in the Burren and Connemara. Cuckoos have a very familiar song as can be easily heard, yet are infrequently seen. Male Cuckoos are a uniform grey on the head, neck, back, wings and tail. The under parts are white with black barring. An interesting fact about the cuckoo is that they do not build their own nests. Females lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and once the Cuckoo chick hatches, its pushes the rest of the other bird’s eggs out of the nest.

  • puffin

    Puffins are summer visitors that began appearing in March. They appear mainly along the west coast on sea cliffs and stacks. These seabirds are only found on land during breeding season, which lasts until August. Very recognizable from their vibrant orange beaks and bleach white underbellies, some of the best places to spot Puffins during the summer are Great Saltee, the Cliffs of Moher, and Horn Head.

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Zach Brown

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